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Patrick Connor. Every one in the Rantoul vicinity of Champaign County knows the home of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Connor. It is located in section 19, five miles northwest of Rantoul and near the schoolhouse to which Mr. Connor sent his own children and with which he has been officially identified. This is a fine farm, comprising 320 acres, and from the road the large white house is almost screened by the fine trees which surround it and most of which were planted and set out by Mr. Connor’s own hands.
All these worthy and creditable possessions are the result of Mr. and Mrs. Connor’s self-sacrificing efforts in early days and continued good management at the present. Mr. Patrick Connor was born at Richmond, Virginia, a son of Patrick and Catherine (Kane) Connor, who were natives of Ireland and came to America soon after their marriage in order to better their conditions in the New World. From Virginia they moved to Peoria County, Illinois. Their three children were Mary, Hannah and Patrick.
Patrick, the only son, attended school in Peoria County, and soon after reaching manhood, in 1885, he married Mary Sullivan. Mrs. Connor was born in Logan County, Illinois, third in a large family of children born to Daniel and Catherine (Buckley) Sullivan. Mrs. Connor was six years of age when her parents located in Champaign County, and she obtained her education in the Ludlow Center school.
After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Connor lived on the old Connor homestead in Condit Township for seven years. They were ambitious for the future and had the energy and enthusiasm of young people, and thriftily put aside some of the surplus from each year’s efforts until they were able to buy the nucleus of their present estate, consisting of 160 acres five miles northwest of Rantoul. For that quarter section they paid $65 an acre.
To the marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Connor were born nine children, two of whom died in infancy. The others were named Catherine, Mary, Irene, John, Patrick, Madaline and Helen. These children were educated in the nearby school, the Locust Grove school. Catherine was also a student in St. Joseph’s Academy at Bloomington, and Mary was a pupil in St. Mary of the Woods at Terre Haute, Indiana. Irene graduated with honors from the Rantoul High School and fitted herself for teaching, being engaged in that work for two years in the Independence school in East Bend Township. Catherine is now the wife of John Murray, a farmer in East Bend. Township, and their three children are named Anna Gertrude, Mary Louise and Connor. The other children, Mary, Irene, John and Patrick, remain at home and assist their father and mother in the management of the farm. All are bright and energetic boys and girls and have a good future before them. Three of the children are students in the Donovan Memorial School of Rantoul conducted by the Dominican Sisters.
Mr. and Mrs. Connor attend St. Malachi’s Catholic Church at Rantoul, and their children were baptized and confirmed in that church. Politically he votes the Democratic ticket. Proof of his public spirit is found in the fact that he was elected for a number of years as school director and has been frequently honored with the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens. Mr. and Mrs. Connor have done all in their power to prepare their children for efficient lives. Realizing and appreciating the value of music as a source of true culture they have given their daughters musical as well as literary training.
Mr. Connor has achieved a position among the first of Champaign County’s farmers and stockmen. He now has 320 acres of land, and among his improvements is a silo with a capacity of ninety tons. He has gained something more than a countywide reputation as a breeder and raiser of Aberdeen Angus cattle. In the off crop year of 1916 Mr. Connor raised 4,500 bushels of corn, and at this writing still has most of it in his cribs. The market value of corn is now close to $1.60 a bushel. The Connor home has always been characterized by its generous hospitality. Mr. and Mrs. Connor have with all their hard work found time to perform their community duties and neighborly responsibilities, and have every reason to be proud of their home and the possessions they have gathered around them. Reference has already been made to the attractive feature of the fine trees in the door yard. These trees, planted by Mr. Connor himself, are maples, catalpas, box elders and a row of fine black walnut trees which now bear abundantly. All these things add to the real pleasure of life, and none are better qualified to enjoy such possessions than Mr. and Mrs. Connor.